“On one hand, I understand that you’re here and seeing you on this bus does feel natural somehow, but on the other hand, it all feels so surreal!” – I was telling my good college friend who came to visit me in Lithuania this August. We were on our way from the airport to the city centre, my mind was still adjusting to what had just happened, and a great week of travelling was awaiting. Blogging about seeing friends has become one of my major themes here (for a pretty damn good reason: because it’s the greatest joy one can experience) so, surprise surprise, here’s another entry on friend-tivities.
Seeing Kerri in Lithuania did feel surreal for several reasons. One, we hadn’t seen each other since graduation, and three years is a pretty long time of not seeing a good friend, even for me. Two, during our week of exploring Lithuania (‘Exploring Lithuania’ could be my next blog project…) we spent two evenings at my parents’ place, and so my two worlds (well, there are more than two by now) of college and home were mixed into one. Yes, it was like a real-life smaller scale version of The Avengers. Whaaaaaat.
What we did in that one week (which was, don’t get me wrong, only an extra to our constant chatting) was quite a lot. Going from Vilnius to Trakai, a cosy town that has a castle on an island in a lake, to my village, to the seaside, back to my village, hitting Kaunas, another city that never receives enough credit from Lithuanians themselves (including myself till recently), and back to Vilnius. Too many proper nouns used here, yes, some confusion, yes, but so I’ve done my part here of mayyyyybe encouraging you to google those places. [paid by the Lithuanian Ministry of Tourism, I know]
During that week, one thing became evident: I was as excited to see those sites myself as my friend was. “Damn, this is really cool!” and other sophisticated observations would be followed by a nod of approval (still by me), while Kerri would express her opinion in a more eloquent manner. The last time I had visited Nida – a nice touristy town in the Curonian Spit, a pretty unique piece of land we have, that creates a lagoon close to the Baltic Sea – was, I believe, fifteen or so years ago. “Hey, this is really beautiful, maaaan” and other similar expressions, together with making fun of the word ‘lagoon’, were pretty common that week. Being a backpacker in my own country is something I have blogged about previously, but, hey, I have complete editorial control here, so whatever.
Going to places with Kerri was, needless to say, a great fun. Remembering good ol’ times in Gettysburg can only be fun, and – something I would only attribute to older people – even gossiping about people I wasn’t good friends in college is quite amusing, too (“Yes, she got married recently” “Wait, who is she exactly?”). But most importantly, we did what good friends have to do in addition to feeling nostalgic for the past: to create new memories that we might feel nostalgic for later. I think we did a pretty good job there.
And a song for you, the one that was being played on the radio (and, OK, on some TV channels that we indulged in while visiting my friends) during our trip: